I have often ranted about the complete uselessness of electronic grammar checkers and mentioned the need for manual proofreading, rather than relying on electronic spellcheckers, but I am also against proofreading a resume on the computer instead of printing it out. Here are my top five reasons for advocating manual proofreading, with paper in your hand:
- No matter how carefully you look, onscreen you are going to miss the tiny details like a double period at the end of a sentence or a word that is partially bolded and partially unbolded. With a hard copy, you can proofread the resume looking for those details in particular.
- If you have a two-page (or longer) resume, it is very hard to keep the pages consistent if you only view them onscreen. You might write dates as 2001-2008 on page 1 but 2001 to 2008 on page 2 or you might have justification on one page and ragged right margins on the other. A hard copy makes cross-checking easy.
- When you are proofreading on a computer you automatically add missing words, especially two-letter prepositions, even though they are not there. When you proof word-by-word on a hard copy—or better yet, read it out loud—you catch those missing words.
- The computer hides flaws, such as a change in font (for example, there is very little difference onscreen between Arial and Tahoma) or problems with line spacing or word spacing. Because even layout views are not exact online, the computer masks problems that only become apparent when you print the resume.
- Formats that look great on the computer may not print well. But if you are selected for an interview, your interviewer will be looking at a paper copy of your resume, not at the computer screen. Your resume needs to print easily and look professional in hard copy.
An added benefit of a paper resume is that you can hand it to an objective party and ask them to read it just as a hiring manager would read it during an interview. If any statement is unclear or confusing, you can correct it before the resume goes out.
Robin’s Resumes® is dedicated to creating professional resumes that help give job applicants the edge, both in content and format.